You know that anytime you hear a song mentioning pizza and getting out of town you can rest assured that the pop punk gods have approved of the upbeat melodies and cynical lyrics. We can check off the latter with the lines “When I find trouble I start running out/ Running out, I’m running out” on “A Better Look;” but when Cleveland-based five-piece One Days Notice comes along and starts singing of Taco Bell on “Hey Anna” rather than the Italian staple of the genre, it arrives like a new curve in the linear road to change up the same old pop punk scenery.
Releasing on January 14 via Remember to Breathe Records, One Days Notice’s sophomore project Blackout kicks it right off with high-energy simplistic riffs born out of the skate punk generation, with a sound comparable to that of Millencolin. Yet the thirteen tracks also come off as a bit mechanical and soulless: exaggerated effort is put in attempting to reverberate the cliché hooks to resonate a meaningful expression.
It is catchy. Despite the lack of compelling lyrics, with the under-performers such as, “Cause we do this casually/ Cause I’m Mr. Casually” on “When I Say When,” the songs are catchy. The common chord progressions of “All That I Know” are followed by an uplifting passing tone change of pitch and the spirited taping away at the cymbals. The climbing guitar notes of “Riot” match the intensity of the collective oscillating cry while strengthening to full licks when called to command the chorus.
A little ska punk, mirroring the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, is revealed in the heart of “Hey Anna:” the cool swing of the bass over the bridge does its best to redeem the track from its unsophisticated vocals. Then “Won’t Back Down” arrives to take a stand as a power anthem. A commendable endeavor, the straightforward instrumentals give life to the stability and drive implied by the title’s theme.
One Days Notice possess superb musicianship, whilst deficient in the lyrical department. The two components feel disjointed in Blackout: the unrefined don’t have the heart or strength to come toe-to-toe with the solid instrumental composition.